Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 25

DEEP DIVE
terion for today's clients, and aesthetics topped
the list at 36%. Price was only 11%, and although
the pandemic is making people more aware of
hygiene, that characteristic just weighed in at 1%.
We might just see an increase in that number in
the next 12 months, but 66% of respondents said
less than 24% of their clients are asking for nonporous
and/or hygienic countertop materials.
For designer Jeannie Fulton, CKBD, of Ridgewood,
N.J.-based Ulrich Inc., ease of maintenance
is the most important aspect when it comes to
choosing a countertop material for her clients, as
no one wants to purchase something that requires
long-term care.
In terms of color, 64% of respondents said their
clients prefer white countertops, with multicolored
taking the second spot at 21.2%. Several
people wrote in different answers, which ran the
gamut from greens and blues to choices with blue
or gray veining. They are also looking for warmer
colors that better reflect natural stone.
MOST POPULAR CHOICES
Quartz is the clear winner in bathrooms (49%)
and just barely takes the top spot in kitchens (28%)
- with granite at a close second at 23%. Other materials
that made the list include solid surface and
quartzite that are numbers three and four in the
lists, as well as laminate, wood, marble, soapstone,
ceramic tile, stainless steel and concrete. Fulton
says white quartz is still the most popular material
with her clients, although quartzite is becoming a
stronger choice because it is more homogenous in
color and has a greater depth in color and shimmer
than man-made quartz.
Some of the respondents' suggestions for new
material choices included more porcelain, hardwood
and metal offerings; real marble with the
properties of quartz; seamless and ultracompact
options; thin-slab installations; suede/matte finishes;
recycled glass and terrazzo options; and
custom designs like a mixture of materials in
one surface.
PROCURING COUNTERTOP MATERIALS
In addition to the obvious suspects like lack of
availability, rising costs, limited choice of suppliers/materials,
reduced access to showrooms
and inferior products, our respondents wrote in
several other challenges they have been trying
to overcome in the last 12 months. With the
COVID-19 pandemic and its ongoing aftermath,
our industry is suffering longer lead times,
reduced delivery schedules, not enough consistency
per surface material for a larger project;
shortage of installers and fabricators; a lack of
knowledgeable countertop experts and reliable
suppliers; and not enough showroom floor space.
KBB SPECIAL SECTION
For those surfacing showroom owners who participated in our survey,
49% said they only carry one two five material choices. Six to eight choices
came in second at 26%, nine to 14 at 7%, and 18% offer more than 15 choices.
Healdsburg, Calif.-based Surface Art Countertops has changed its showroom
visits to appointments only for designers and their clients. Owner Marc
Rumpler says although this was because of the pandemic, that this offers his
customers a more efficient way to get great service.
Some designers are coming up with their own innovative solutions to more
easily procuring countertop materials like buying American-made products,
researching new brands they may not have used before and showing their
clients various product ranges so they can select those that are more available
and have shorter lead times.
FUTURE COUNTERTOP REQUESTS
When asked what features they were looking forward to coming down the
pike soon, our respondents came up with some innovative ideas. A few are
interested in having more samples from manufactures to share with clients,
and some do want to see more surface options in showrooms. Rumpler's
showroom offers four main types of countertop materials, with plans to
include porcelain once the cracking issues are addressed and manufacturers
accept responsibility for those.
With quartz gaining in popularity, there is a need in our industry for more
marble-look options at various price points. Many respondents said quartz is
not always the most affordable material, but when compared to a natural material
offering, it is still less expensive. In that same vein, they are asking for more
bath countertops in standard sizes to avoid paying for a full slab on smaller jobs.
Design pros would also like to see a middle ground between laminate and
some of the other available choices, as well as a resurgence in solid surfacing.
They are also asking for more patterns, choices for outdoor kitchens and
sustainable options. With porcelain, Druschel says it's like taking a photo of
a natural slab and mimicking it, which is a more eco-friendly way to procure a
material, and he likes that you can book match porcelain in larger applications.
Lastly, our industry is hoping for improved fabrication methods, better service
from suppliers, online training for the different countertop materials and their
various properties and a fool-proof sealer system for natural stone (a designer
can dream!).

Daltile Is the Best Source for
Countertops and Extra-Large Slab Products
Daltile has the nation's largest slab/countertop brick-and-mortar footprint, with more
than 120 locations across the country. This nationwide network includes high-end
showrooms and warehouse locations that either stock or display an incredibly broad
range of natural granite, marble and quartzite slabs - as well as the brand's One Quartz
and Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces lines.
Daltile has always offered the largest breadth and depth of fashion-forward, quality
tile and trim on the market. By also providing superior countertop solutions under the
trusted Daltile brand name, the company now makes securing both beautiful tile and
coordinating countertop products at the same time even easier.
Come see Daltile's award-winning Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces line that provides the
luxury look of stone, low maintenance and attractive pricing via 10-ft. 7-in. extra-long x
5-ft. 4-in.-wide panels. Also available are Daltile's quartz products that are the epitome
of design and style, in addition to being the largest quartz slabs in the world. Daltile also
offers a wide selection of gorgeous natural stone slabs, perfect for making a unique design
statement in a kitchen or bath. Let Daltile conveniently bring your design vision to life!
SPONSORED CONTENT
25

Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021

Editor's Note
KBIS Note
NKBA Note
Happenings
Tech Savvy
Trends
Deep Dive
KBIS
NKBA List
Better Business
Hot Topic
All Abroad
Research Roundup
Wellness Design
Before & After
Small Spaces
Solutions
What's Hot
Favorites
Last Word
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 1
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Cover2
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 1
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 2
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 3
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 4
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 5
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Editor's Note
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 7
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - KBIS Note
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 9
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - NKBA Note
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 11
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Happenings
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 13
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Tech Savvy
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 15
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 16
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 17
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Trends
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 19
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 20
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 21
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Deep Dive
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 23
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 24
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 25
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - KBIS
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 27
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 28
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 29
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 30
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 31
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - NKBA List
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 33
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Better Business
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 35
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Hot Topic
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 37
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - All Abroad
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 39
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Research Roundup
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 41
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Wellness Design
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 43
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Before & After
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 45
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Small Spaces
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 47
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Solutions
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 49
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - What's Hot
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 51
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 52
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Favorites
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 54
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 55
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 56
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 57
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 58
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 59
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 60
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 61
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 62
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - 65
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Last Word
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Cover3
Kitchen & Bath Business September 2021 - Cover4
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